We know the Ford Puma ST has decent acceleration. It’s also fast in corners and the handling feels pretty direct for a crossover. It’s small, nimble, and agile - all the things you could also say for a radio-controlled car. The resemblances between the ST and an RC are so big that Ford decided to make a David versus Goliath race to promote its first performance SUV model for Europe.
In a new video, the Puma ST meets a 1/10 scale Puma ST RC model on a track. The crossover has to make a single lap around the 1.18-mile (1.9-kilometre) Brands Hatch Indy Circuit with rally star Louise Cook behind the steering wheel. Against it, RC racer Lee Martin must complete three laps around the 0.13-mile (220-metre) Brands Hatch kart track, which is a precise replica of the original track.
Gallery: Ford Puma ST versus RC model
While very similar, the two contenders are, obviously, very different at the same time. The Puma ST has a 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine under the bonnet good for 197 bhp (147 kilowatts) and 236 pound-feet (319 Newton-metres) of torque. The power is channelled to the front wheels via a six-speed manual transmission and an optional limited-slip differential.
Against it, the Puma RC model puts to use a 402-watt electric motor attached to the front wheels. While it’s way underpowered compared to the performance crossover, the RC model has an impressive acceleration of 3.0 seconds from 0 to 50 miles per hour (0-80 kilometres per hour). The Puma ST, in turn, sprints to 62 mph (100 kph) in 6.7 seconds.
There are many other factors that need to be taken into considerations here, including the weight, top speed, track length, and others. In the end, it’s actually a very, very close race, in which the winner is less than a second faster than its opponent.